With all the diving today, our excursion was really enjoyable and exciting. We began today with going out to ginger hole for our first project dive. While on our way, the wind blew away Logan’s hat and the waves got worse as we reached an exposed portion of the island. After getting in the water and venturing over to our first test site we saw a reef shark and became curious with the noise we were making, but soon after it turned away because it lost interest. During the next two sites we tested the shark showed up, but it kept its distance once again. Oddly enough, one of the other groups saw around five sharks at once during their dive in the same spot; however, we were too focused with research to be distracted by inquisitive sharks. Because of this, the next two test sites went without any trouble and we managed to collect all the data we need for our project. When returning to the surface, Mr. Von was hanging his feet off the stern of the boat, so we asked Casey to jokingly tugs his legs down, which resulted in a small panic before he figured out what was going on. After meeting up with the other groups, we learned that the group that had seen all the sharks was at about eighty feet, while we only ventured around forty to fifty feet while collecting data.After a small snack break, we went onward to the other side of the island, ginger backside, for some groups to work on projects, but we went ahead and just had a fun dive. On the dive we saw two more reef sharks, one of which was about 15 feet off, as well as various snails and a puffer fish. We also saw a nurse shark dug under a rock, relaxing while the dive went on. While navigating the reef, it was amazing to see some of the coral structures that had layered basal plates about 15 feet high all the way to the bottom.
After surfacing we quickly switched over our gear and headed to meet up with the other dive boat to have lunch and hang out. During and after lunch, we learned that our final dive of the day was going to be helping to measure and count the structures in various portions of the coral nursery. As a group of three, Name, Killian, and I were assigned the difficult task of recording data from two coral trees with around 90 individual pieces of coral combined. I was assigned with the grueling task of recording all the data, which really meant I’d be the primary one counting and recording all the numbers necessary. In between counting, I was able to clean some of the wires the corals were hanging from with my hand, a technique I learned last year when we had to scrub algae off of the nursery trees. Everything went well and we managed to record everything needed in time, so we ventured on a small swim around the reef where we got to see a lion fish, an invasive species to the BVI, that had been speared by Zoltan and left for other fish to eat. After getting back to the boat we jumped back to the harbor to unload our gear and come back to the cabins before dinner.
Tomorrow I’m really looking forward to adventuring to the Rhone, one of the best artificial reefs in the world that turns 150 years old this coming fall. Last year I remember it being an amazing dive, so I’m really looking forward to seeing new things and observing more given the experience I’ve gained since the last time I dove the site.